Brussels Sprouts!!

I had the most amazing brussels sprouts for dinner tonight!  I found the recipe for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts on Pinterest.  Here is the link:  http://www.eatliverun.com/caramelized-brussels-sprouts

The original recipe called for brown sugar and I don’t buy that so I used my sucanat instead and it worked great.  I also added a little butter to finish up at the end.  (You do remember that healthy fats don’t make you fat, right?!  Yes…butter is a healthy fat!)

When I was growing up, Mom used to boil brussels sprouts and cover them in a velveeta cheese sauce.  Let’s just say that they were not my favorite veggie at that time. 

What was going through my head when I decided to buy a bag of brussel sprouts, I will never know.  When I got home, I started looking for ways to make them edible.  (Velveeta was out of the question!)  I found a recipe that had you rub them with olive oil, add Celtic sea salt and roast them in the oven.  They were so good!!  The whole family loves them.

If you have never cared for brussels sprouts, you really should give them another shot.  But please, whatever you do, don’t cover them in Velveeta!!  ;o)

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GMO

Did you know that in 2009, the USDA reported that 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, 86% of corn and 90% of canola crops were genetically engineered?  It is estimated that 80% of packaged foods in US grocery stores have GMO  (genetically modified organism) ingredients in them!

Even though over 30 other countries have banned or put restrictions on GMOs, here in the US they don’t even have to be listed on labels!!  I should be able to know what I am feeding my family!  The FDA needs to require labeling of GMO products!

If you don’t know much about genetically modified foods, the Food, Inc. documentary is a great way to learn more.

New Raw Milk Dairy

There is a new raw milk dairy in “town”!  They are going to be making cheese and butter in the near future but milk is available now for $4.00 a gallon.  They are planning on switching to glass jars soon.  (yay!)

For those in this area, here is the info:

Dry Valley Dairy
100 Dry Valley Road
Forestburg, TX  76239
 
940-964-2549 dairy
940-768-9030 cell
 
dryvalleydairy@gmail.com
www.dryvalleydairy.com

Ready for Strawberries!!!

I just saw that Young’s Orchard is up and running!  They are a U-pick strawberry farm that we went to last year that had amazing strawberries!  (They grow a lot of other produce as well.)  I don’t know if this is always the case, but last year when we went, they had not sprayed their strawberries.  We picked enough to freeze several bags of extras for smoothies.

Check them out!  www.youngsorchard.com  They are about 15 minutes east of Wichita Falls.

Raw Ranch Dressing

I’ve been trying to find a ranch dressing that didn’t have any bad ingredients for a very long time.  I had given up until I found this recipe…it is great!!!  It doesn’t taste “exactly” the same as a Hidden Valley-type dressing but it is pretty close! 

Raw Ranch Dressing/Dip
Servings: 24 (or 3 cups)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups nuts (cashews OR macs OR combo of both)  I use all cashews – soak them for a creamier dressing (1-2 hrs is fine, then drain)
3/4 – 1 cup filtered water for blending
3 tablespoons lemon juice (translates into approx 1/2 lemon)
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons agave (or 3 soaked dates)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dill
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon basil

And to add after it’s done:
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
another 1/2 t dill, minced

Directions
Blend all ingredients till creamy and smooth except the last 2, then once blended, stir in the last 2 ingredients.

Thickens in fridge.

Thin to desired consistency if using as a dressing- or toss into wet lettuce leaves as is.

From online source:  Raw Freedom Community

Homemade Granola Bars

It is so hard to find granola bars without some kind of soy that I decided to make my own.  I modified a recipe that I got from the Azure Standard Midwest Routes facebook page and then added “sticky stuff” to make it into bars.  They came out great!  Here is the recipe:

Blueberry/Pecan Granola and Granola Bar Recipe

  • 1 cup Raw Honey
  • 1 cup Coconut Oil
  • 12 cups of Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 2 cups of Pecans

The way I make it:

Warm honey and oil just enough to melt and combine.  Mix in cinnamon and salt.  Stir in oats and blueberries.  Dehydrate at 105 degrees for several hours.  Add soaked/dehydrated nuts to mix, if desired.

Original directions:

Bring honey, oil, cinnamon and salt to a boil, stir constantly.  Then add oats, blueberries and nuts.  Stir until thoroughly mixed over low heat.  You can eat this warm, store in ziplocks for trips or store in the fridge.  It is very filling, nutritious and delicious all at the same time.

To make granola bars:

Warm ½ cup of raw honey and ¼ cup of organic peanut butter just enough to mix together.  Stir into 4 cups of granola and throw in a handful of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.  Press into an 8” square pan and refrigerate until chilled.  Cut into bars.

My new favorite breakfast…

I’m hooked on raw homemade granola with kefir poured over it and a little maple syrup drizzled on top.  I throw in whatever nuts and fruit I have handy and dig in!   The granola is made with oats, virgin coconut oil, honey, a little cinnamon and sea salt and dried blueberries.  Go ahead…give it a try!

Hurray for our new bulk and natural foods co-op!!!

It has finally arrived….Azure Standard natural and bulk food co-op made it all the way down to Texas!  We had our first delivery on Saturday and everything was great!  This area had a co-op a few years ago but it went out of business (twice).  This co-op has fresh produce along with all the other great things available.  If you don’t know of any co-ops in your area, you might check and see if Azure is coming your way!

The Marvelous Sweet Potato

We had one of my favorite quick meals tonight.  A baked sweet potato w/ lots of raw butter and celtic sea salt with a big green salad and a big glass of raw milk.  I was looking at the pamphlet that came in the sweet potato box and it said this: 

The sweet potato deserves to be on the highest perch because it is a nutritional powerhouse with 4 ounces of cooked pulp supplying 2 grams of protein, 3.4 grams of fiber, 24.6 mg of vitamin C, 28 mg of calcium, 22.6 mg of folic acid, 20 mg of magnesium, 348 mg of potassium, and a whopping 21822 I.U. of vitamin A.  That’s mighty impressive for only a half cup serving.  The skins, which are completely edible, add even more fiber.

It is also on “The Clean 15” list which states:  All the produce on “The Clean 15” bore little to no traces of pesticides, and is safe to consume in non-organic form.

I never had sweet potatoes when I was a kid because I only saw them at my aunt’s house at Christmas with marshmallows and brown sugar.  They just looked gross to me!  Now, we love eating them raw (I like them better than carrot slices),cut in sliced and tossed with olive oil w/ celtic sea salt then baked in the oven, and of course just as a baked potato w/ butter and sea salt.

If you’ve never eaten a sweet potato with out marshmallows and brown sugar, give it a try!  I bet you’ll love it!

Getting ready to fight off winter colds!!

I’m making an elderberry syrup and an immune booster herbal tincture to get ready for all the winter germs coming our way!  My 4-year-old caught a cold last week and was kind enough to share with me.  Fortunately, we had a bottle of Trilight Herbs Scout Out and we were able to kick it pretty quick.  Asa took about three days to get over his cold and I was better in just a couple days.  I know several people who had this turn into bronchitis.  I’m so thankful for all these amazing healing herbs that God gave us!!!  This week served as a great wake up call to get ready for winter!!  Are you ready?!

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